Monday, November 30, 2015

Polar Bears in Street View, Polar Bear Tracker, and Polar Bear Lesson Plans

Earlier today the Google Maps Blog featured Street View imagery captured by conservation organizations that are studying the effects of climate change on plants and animals. One of those organizations is Polar Bears International. I've written about some of PBI's work in the past and I think that this is a good time to revisit what PBI offers to teachers and students.

Polar Bears International offers a set of extensive lesson plans designed to help students learn about polar bears and their habitat. One of those lesson plans is called Street View and Polar Bears. In  Street View and Polar Bears students use Google Maps to explore the geography, geology, and ecosystem of the tundra around Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. At the end of the lesson students should be able to answer questions like "what are the characteristics of the subarctic tundra?" and "what would be some of the considerations for the construction of buildings, schools, houses, etc. in the subarctic?"

Bear Tracker is another feature of the Polar Bears International website. The Bear Tracker plots the travels of collared polar bears in Hudson Bay and the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska. You can view the travel paths of one or all of the bears on each map. The map also offers play the travel paths recorded over time.